Published January 25, 2014
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Utah Jazz will try to get back on track after two straight losses on Saturday night when they welcome the Washington Wizards to EnergySolutions Arena.
The Jazz dropped both games of a home-and-home series with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but have lost three of their last four. Saturday's contest will be the second of a four-game homestand, where they'll also welcome Sacramento and Golden State.
On Tuesday, Minnesota's Kevin Love nearly had a triple-double en route to a 112-97 victory.
Gordon Hayward returned from a five-game absence because of a hip injury to lead all scorers with 27 points, while Alec Burks tallied 18 points off the bench and Jeremy Evans added 10 in a reserve role for Utah.
"It just seemed like they wanted it a little more," Evans said. "We just need to work a little harder."
Utah's starting frontcourt of Richard Jefferson, Marvin Williams and Enes Kanter each scored four points apiece. Derrick Favors missed the contest due to a hip flexor injury and is questionable Saturday.
Washington will continue its four-game western sojourn and opened the trip with Friday's 101-95 triumph in Phoenix thanks to a well-balanced attack from the starting five.
Trevor Ariza led the starters with 23 points, Nene and John Wall had 18 apiece, Bradley Beal netted 17 and Marcin Gortat rounded out the double-digit scorers with 14 points, Wall also dished out 12 assists for the Wizards, winners in five of seven games and owners of an 11-10 road mark.
The Wizards used a 31-19 advantage in the third quarter to place a dent on the Suns and made 45.3 percent of their shots. The Wizards tied a season high by pulling down 19 offensive boards, while Beal made Washington's last three baskets and scored seven of the teams final eight points.
"I knew that eventually the ball was going to come my way and I just stayed ready," Beal said. "I wasn't making too many shots throughout the game, but I just stayed with it and stayed confident."
Washington still has Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers to visit on this road swing.
The Jazz, who are 8-12 as the host, have won three in a row, six out of eight and nine out of 12 against the Wizards. Utah is 21-4 in its last 25 games against Washington in Salt Lake City.